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In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania it is:
JANUARY ONLINE IMPRESSIONS EDITION
Letters to the editor:
End of Letters to the editor!
Dreams should not be left to wind
Well I have been walking down this road for some time now and I finally decided to look back. It is now 2002, and we are solidly into the new millennium. This is my senior year and my last semester. All of this happening at the same time makes me reminiscent of the past. I realize how long a way I have come. Moreover, I now realize how long of a way I still have to go.
Wintertime has always been a time for me to look back over the past year and see what I have accomplished and in this speedy world, it is hard to get anything accomplished if you do not concentrate on it. Focus on it. Embrace it. Love that thing that is close to your heart, whatever it is.
I started the previous year wanting to get my band started. I got my fellow band mates coordinated and we were privileged enough to write a few songs and even play a few gigs. It is unfortunate that we let other things get in our way of becoming the band we were destined to be. Each of us has a passion to play music, but we let other things get in the way.
As I look back to that summer, I wish we had stuck with it. These kinds of things sadden me, but now is not the time to worry about that. We are starting anew and we are ready to rock! And we know that this time we will not let anything get in the way of our hopes and dreams. It just took us some time to get our priorities straight and to figure out what we really wanted in life.
So why am I telling you all this? It is not because I am expecting you to book us for your next gig after you read this. It is not because we will soon be rock superstars and you should get our autographs now. It is because I do not want to see you leave your dreams to the wind for things that you do not really want.
This world has a funny and ironic way of exchanging with us things we want for things we really do not want. We have to be vigilant in guarding our hopes and dreams. We must guard the hope of our hearts because that is how we find true life.
For too long I have gone after things I thought I wanted, but they were only false images of the things that I wanted. I thought I was happy with them, but I was not. To find happiness I had to sit down and seriously think about what my talents are, and where I can best use them.
To find where we belong is probably the main search we go through in the younger part of our lives. Since this is a new year I guess now would be as good as any other time to begin to think about where we really belong. Hope your last semester went well, and for my fellow seniors, welcome to the end!
Trying to be American
While walking one Friday night, with two American friends of mine, through the grounds of the Cathedral of Learning, we happened to pass the Omicron Delta Kappa path. Noticing the many names imprinted on the pavement (sorry, sidewalk) I enquired as to how one went about gaining such a privilege.
My knowledgeable friend proceeded to inform me on the achievements of these former Pitt students. Jokingly, I said my name would soon appear on the path, only to be told that I didnít fulfill the essential prerequisite: I needed to be an American.
This formed the start of my quest to find out what it takes to be an American, on an informal level. Constantly reminded by friends of my alien tongue and English tea drinking habits, my status as an English exchange student at the University of Pittsburgh is clear.
However, contrary to their beliefs, I do feel I have made some, if little, progress in the assimilation process required to become an American, or at least a Pittsburgher.
I have successfully handled the most significant challenge facing all newcomers to the United States: "the greeting".
"How ya doing?" posed some difficulty for me in my first few weeks on U.S. soil. Believing it to be a question being asked of me, I would surprisingly enough begin to respond, only to find my "greeter" had already walked halfway down the sidewalk.
After many such occurrences, I consequentially adopted another approach, the no response approach, only to encounter situations in which my greeter would engage in eye contact for a little too long, the realization then dawning on me that an answer was expected.
After weeks of agitation, I have finally come to a resolution-I simply smile. This buys me the time to assess the situation and decide whether my greeter is indeed posing a question to be answered.
Talking to family and friends back at home, I have been told that I have developed a certain twang in my accent. If people at home started to notice changes in me, I must be making progress.
"Water" or more so "war-ter" has been replaced by "wad-der", "hi" by "hey", and "cute" has replaced every adjective formerly in my vocabulary. I now "hang out" rather than "meet up" with friends and get my "bangs" cut instead of my "fringe".
I do believe, however, that certain English words should be kept, and am on a mission to anglicize particular American-English words. "Popsicle" being one of them. "Ice lolly" is a much better descriptor of the summertime treat. And, instead of agonizing over the "pop versus soda" debate would it not be simpler to adopt the term "fizzy drink"?
So, am I anywhere near to fulfilling the necessary requirements needed before getting my name on that exalted path? I know I have many lessons still to learn. Perhaps a change in attitude is required.
A friend, due to my refusal to address his "rubbish bin" as a "garbage can", commented, "we have a problem; this girl just wonít assimilate." If only my assimilation were to be judged by the number of pizzas and burgers I have consumed in my three months here. Then I would undoubtedly be worthy.